Matthew 5 verse 3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
Matthew was a tax collector – then as now, being a tax collector was not a very popular job. As I said in my blog on Matthew.
Matthew found it quite hard to be ‘poor in spirit’. But ‘poor in spirit’ doesn’t mean what we have, it doesn’t mean money. It means becoming totally dependent on someone else.
Jesus asked Matthew to follow him, to become a disciple, and that meant leaving behind being a tax collector, it meant leaving behind his independence. Matthew would have to become totally reliant on Jesus for everything even his meals. Matthew had a difficult choice to make, independence or reliance.
Matthew had to swallow his pride (the opposite of ‘poor in spirit’.) which he did and he became a faithful disciple of Jesus depending on him for all his needs.
When we are babies we are completely dependent on the adults around us for absolutely everything. We are fed, washed, dressed by someone else which it is ok to be dependent when you are a baby, but is it okay to be that dependent when you are older?
Jesus wants us to be able to do things for ourselves. He wants us to look to him to him and trust him for all that we do, but not to be babies.
When we become older we are able to wash ourselves, we learn how to cook so that we can feed ourselves. We can do most things ourselves. But we become so good at looking after ourselves and relying on ourselves that we become in danger of thinking we can do everything by ourselves. We are independent and think we can handle everything ourselves. We never ask anyone for help, because we can do it ourselves. People think that being independent means never asking for help and independent people think that you are weak if you ask for help.
Being independent is better than being dependent but we have to remember that it’s not always the best way of being. Jesus wants us to be able to look after ourselves but to remember that there is nothing wrong with asking for help when we need it. That we haven’t failed if we need to ask for help. If we become to proud to ask for help when we need it then we are acting in the opposite way that Jesus wants – to be proud is the opposite of being ‘poor in spirit’.
Jesus wants us to be interdependent, he wants us to be able to do most things ourselves – but to know that we become better and stronger if we learn to ask for help when we need it.
Being ‘poor in spirit’ means to be interdependent on God. So, be strong but be interdependent “fully reliant on God” knowing that he will be there when we need him.
Being fully reliant on God isn’t easy as it sounds;
It’s about remembering whatever we are doing to ask God to be with us.
It’s about when we come to making a decision to ask God to help us.
It’s about remembering to Thank God at the end of the day for all the good things that have happened.
It’s about remembering to say sorry to God for the things we have done wrong.
‘Fully reliant on God’ is about God being right there in the centre of your life.
But if we take the letters F R O G – we have something that will help us to remember.
This webpage has lots of ideas for frogs, and I like the frog pouch.